Saturday, July 10, 2010

Harper's Handling of Haiti Crisis Again Under Fire

After learning that the ship Harper rushed to Haiti arrived empty and after months still no money was forthcoming, we now hear that the response Harper had been so praised for, was all a show.

Nothing more than photo-ops and some good press after he took a beating for going on a two and half month prorogue vacation, while we still had to pay his MPs for doing nothing.

Not that they do much anyway other than partisan ankle biting.
Members of Canada's disaster relief team deployed to earthquake-ravaged Haiti without proper gear and training, while confusion and conflicting priorities allowed reporters to board military flights into the country ahead of critical medical aid, according to a post-mission report.

... The team, a military quick-reaction force that provides humanitarian aid following natural disasters and other emergencies, also couldn't get security personnel into Haiti on one of the earliest flights because they were bumped to accommodate media. "This had the potential to put Canadian civilian and military personnel at risk," the report says of the mission, dubbed Operation Hestia. But it's not clear from the brief why the core group of military personnel that's supposed to be in a state of high readiness with equipment stored in a special "High Readiness Warehouse" didn't appear fully ready to deploy.

... "The push to deploy rapidly may have satisfied the strategic objective of appearance that Canada was doing something," the document says. "However, it adversely affected the operational objective of providing rapid and effective humanitarian aid."

Business as usual in Harper's world. Why let human catastrophe get in the way of a good photo-op?


The news just keeps getting better:
Canada's most senior-ranking military officer in Haiti has been forced from his command over a slew of allegations, including one of engaging in an inappropriate relationship and mishandling the management of his team. Col. Bernard Ouellette, chief of staff to the United Nations Haiti mission, was relieved on June 26 following a yearlong deployment to quake-ravaged Haiti, said Lt.-Col. Chris Lemay, a spokesman for the Canadian Expeditionary Force Command. "For a few months there was a situation that erupted and it became a negative environment, which, in the end, affected the collective cohesion and morale of the Canadian team," Lemay said.

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